HIST 2315 The Occupation of Japan

HIST 2315 The Occupation of Japan (also ASIAN 2258, AMST 2315, SHUM 2315) (GB)(GLC-AS, HST-AS) (HAN)

Tuesday and Thursday: 10:10-11:25 plus Independent Research

Professor Kristin Roebuck

In August 1945, Japan was a devastated country – its cities burned, its people starving, its military and government in surrender.  World War II was over.  The occupation had begun.  What sort of society emerged from the cooperation and conflict between occupiers and occupied?  Students will examine sources ranging from declassified government documents to excerpts from diaries and bawdy fiction, alongside major scholarly studies, to find out.  The first half of the course focuses on key issues in Japanese history, like the fate of the emperor, constitutional revision, and the emancipation of women.  The second half zooms out for a wider perspective, for the occupation of Japan was never merely a local event.  It was the collapse of Japanese empire and the rise of American empire in Asia.  It was decolonization in Korea and the start of the Cold War.  Students will further explore these links through individual research on comparative occupation.

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